Physiological Correlates of Psi Phenomena: Pilot Study of EEG and PK
W.J. Ross Dunseath
Division of Perceptual Studies, University of Virginia www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/psychiatry/sections/cspp/... DOPS@virginia.edu
One area of study at the Westphal Neuroimaging Lab is the acquisition of physiological data corresponding to psi events. Despite the fact that psi itself does not appear to be a brain process, or explainable in classical-physics terms, there is every reason to suppose that its expressions depend upon conditions in the body and especially in the brain. It is known, for example, that spontaneous psi experiences occur disproportionately in dreams and hypnagogic or twilight-zone states, and in various other altered states of consciousness (Kelly & Locke, 1981). We hypothesize that neuroimaging studies of performance in controlled psi tasks by subjects preselected for ability to succeed at those tasks or to enter the relevant states will reveal more detailed correlations of this sort.
Data collection for a pilot study pairing high density (32–128 channels) EEG with electronic PK sensors especially adapted for use in physiological studies was recently completed and data analysis is underway. Although one type of sensor was the main focus of the study, data was gathered from several other sensors as well, including a 3-axis magnetometer, Geiger Counter, force detector, temperature sensor, RNG, and an array of resistors. The study used a computer-con- trolled protocol of timed trials paced by audio commands, with audio feedback on the state of the target sensor provided at the end of each PK trial. Sixty-eight experiments with human participants were run, with a total of seven significant (p < 0.05, two-tailed) outcomes. Five of these had p-values less than 0.025, yield- ing p = 0.029 overall for the series. In contrast, no significant outcomes were observed in twenty-five experiments run without human participants. Preliminary results in EEG show differences between PK and rest conditions in EEG power spectra, but most of the analysis remains to be done at the time of this writing. Kelly, E. F. and Locke, R. G. (1981b). A note on scrying. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 75, 221–227.
W.J. Ross Dunseath, Ph.D., is Co-director with Edward Kelly of the Westphal Neuroimaging Laboratory, under the auspices of Cedar Creek Institute and the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia. He has long collaborated with Edward Kelly in both psi and neurophysiology research, including the use of high-resolution EEG and fMRI techniques to investigate adaptation of human somatosensory cortex to natural tactile stimuli. A by-product of that collaboration was his development of the world’s first truly fMRI-compatible EEG system.